A long weekend of heaven, at The Feast

Returning from The Feast feels a little like returning from BsAs – that I’ve been living in this incredible, magical bubble, and now I have to return to the everyday world. It’s almost jarring.

Last year, I described how it was a bit of a slow-burn as a first-timer. The vast majority of Feasters are regulars, so all know each other, and are keen to dance together again. But by my third visit, I was one of those regulars, and was receiving invitations from the first tanda …

Continue reading A long weekend of heaven, at The Feast

I’ve made surprising progress in my following: I now feel like a beginner

Perhaps it’s an odd way to express it, but after three more privates, I now feel like I’ve reached the stage of being a beginner follower.

What I mean by that is that, previously, I very much felt like a leader trying to make the very difficult transition to following. Some tango concepts learned as a leader were helpful, of course, but in other ways my experience as a leader was actually hindering my attempts to follow. Now, though, I feel like I’ve (mostly!) succeeded in letting go of the internal struggle between the two, and can actually fully focus on the follower role …

Continue reading I’ve made surprising progress in my following: I now feel like a beginner

Following … a leader, and my tango heart

I had my third private as a follower, and while I missed plenty of things, I for the first time had an experience of Just Dancing from the follower side.

I also decided to follow my tango heart when it comes to when, where and how I dance …

Continue reading Following … a leader, and my tango heart

A three-hour round-trip journey to dance in Cambridge, and worth every minute

Five months ago, returning from BsAs, I wrote about my determination to keep the Argentine spirit alive in my own tango – and so far, I feel like I’m succeeding.

I’ve reluctantly conceded that one key ingredient here is dancing a lot more outside of the sub-culture that is London tango. Reluctantly, because I’d love to dance a lot in my own city, and I do see London milongas doing their best to bring the Argentine spirit to London …

Continue reading A three-hour round-trip journey to dance in Cambridge, and worth every minute

The practicality and poetry of the cabeceo: Where the dance begins

There’s a magic to the cabeceo. To make eye contact across a room, with a woman I’ve never met before, whose name I do not know, whose language I may not speak, and be able to invite her to dance – and have my invitation accepted – without a single word being exchanged.

Cabeceo is, for me, one of the most beautiful things about tango. I love it for its practicality, but also for its poetry. For me, it’s the first step in the dance …

Continue reading The practicality and poetry of the cabeceo: Where the dance begins

Wonderful DJ, and more following dividends, at El Boliche

When I don’t have the energy for 5-6 hours of dancing, my approach is to go later in the evening. Generally the music gets more lyrical as the evening goes on, and as I appear physically incapable of leaving a milonga before the end, this gives me 2-3 hours of dance.

Arriving at El Boliche around 10pm felt a little like a return to BsAs timings …

Continue reading Wonderful DJ, and more following dividends, at El Boliche

An amazing leading dividend from just two lessons as a follower

While leading and following are two very different mindsets, the technique is the same – just that followers need more of it at any given level.

I knew from past experience that following is a very powerful tool for improving my lead, but I really couldn’t believe the extent to which this paid off after just two (new) following lessons …

Continue reading An amazing leading dividend from just two lessons as a follower

A time to lead, a time to follow

Six weeks ago, I said I was pausing my privates while I figured out my next step. A few days after that, I mulled over the possibility of learning to follow – at least, to some degree.

Sure, I’ve taken a few lessons as a follower, but those have always been geared to helping my lead, rather than actually focusing on following. But I’ve decided it’s now time to have a real go at the opposite (and, I suspect, more challenging) role …

Continue reading A time to lead, a time to follow

If I go all the way to Devon, you can bet there’s a good reason for it!

No offence to Devon; it’s a pretty part of the world. But given that I could travel to many European cities in the same time and for the same money, I wouldn’t be heading there without a very good reason. The Feast tango festival was that very good reason.

I first attended The Feast in December, and fell head-over-heels in love with it …

Continue reading If I go all the way to Devon, you can bet there’s a good reason for it!

The only leader is the music: A joyful Feast

Felipe Martinez recently talked about the difference between danceable music and music which moves you, literally and figuratively. I think that’s a good way of describing what is, to me, the difference between rhythmic and lyrical tango.

I’d expected the work I was doing on double-time to increase my enjoyment of rhythmic music. It has, but to my surprise, that wasn’t the biggest benefit …

Continue reading The only leader is the music: A joyful Feast
%d bloggers like this: